Most first impressions start with the eyes, but impressions can be deceiving for those suffering with dropping, puffy or hooded eyes. Excess skin around the eyelids can make the eyes look tired or angry. Significant sagging around the eyelids can also interfere with vision. Just ask Donna McLean, who recently underwent eyelid surgery, also referred to as blepharoplasty, to combat the uncomfortable effects of her hooded eyelids.
‘The skin under my brow-bone drooped so much you couldn’t see the crease on my eyelid,’ she says. ‘My lids felt heavy, which was tiring, and I could actually feel the skin of my upper eyelid lying against my lashes. It gave me headaches. It also looked as if I was permanently scowling, and I hated that my children always thought I looked cross.’
According to Dr. Kremer, McLean’s plastic surgeon, this problem is surprisingly common. “Almost everyone will develop hooded eyes to a certain degree, and of the women with early hooding, about 70 percent with go on to experience some level of vision disturbance.”
While there are several surgical techniques that can be utilized to remove excess skin around the eyelids, Dr. Kremer choose to perform a new procedure, often referred to as the Turn Back Time or TBT lift. The TBT lift is a minimally invasive procedure that takes around 45 minutes to perform under local anesthetic.
According to Dr. Kremer, the TBT lift does not cut as deeply into the membrane beneath the brow-bone as traditional eyelid surgery which ultimately preserves fat and strengthens the membrane over time. The procedure begins through the removal of excess skin from both eyelids to reveal the orbital muscle. “I don’t cut this, but carefully part the fibers until I can see the white membrane,” says Dr. Kremer.
“Starting near the nose, I use a running stitch along the membrane, then pull it tight. This instantly makes the membrane more dense and pulls back the fat. I then pull the cut edges of the eyelid together, and close the wound with very fine stitches.”Bruising and swelling from the TBT lift are minimal and patients can expect to return to work within four to five days. Immediate results are noticeable; however, it does take four to six weeks before the final results are visible.
According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, this surgery may not be ideal for all patients, but in McLean’s case, the procedure was a success. “I still look like me, only better. The difference in my vision is vast. I look much less unhappy, angry and tired, and younger too. But it’s subtle and natural.”
Learn more about eyelid surgery in Guilford, CT.